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Old May 21st, 2010 #13
Karl Radl
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Karl Radl

Appendix II

Jews in the Comintern 1919-1943

The below tables have been taken from Peter Huber, 1998, ‘Structure of the Moscow apparatus of the Comintern and decision-making’ in Tim Rees, Andrew Thorpe (Eds.), 1998, ‘International Communism and the Communist International 1919-1943’, 1st Edition, Manchester University Press: Manchester, pp. 41-64. Since it would be impossible to reproduce the tables as they are presented by Huber: I have changed their format slightly as to show the same information but in a manner more suited to being published on a forum or a blog.

We should additionally note that these tables are limited in what they tell us in so far as some of the surveys conducted by the Comintern on their staff had separate categories for jews and others did not. These surveys also relied on the self-identification of a jew as being jewish rather than say being Russian or Estonian (i.e. if a jew identified themselves as a Russian then they were held to be Russian by the Comintern survey): hence making the lists the bare minimum number of jews, by which we mean in this instance an individual who has at least one jewish grandparent, who were involved with the surveying Comintern departments.

Of the tables that Huber produces only two include ‘jewish’ as a nationality, this is unfortunate as it leaves many interesting questions unanswered as Huber himself points out on p. 44, these are tables 3.2 (Apparatus staff according to nationality, 1933) and 3.7 (Members of the restructured Liaison service (S.S) in 1940). (1) Despite these limitations however these tables allow us to gain some insight into what occurred to jews working in the Comintern between 1933 and 1940: it also allows us to reasonably suggest that if the Comintern conforms to the general pattern, regarding the amount of jews in the higher and responsible echelons of the Soviet state and the Bolshevik party in 1917, the amount of jews in the Comintern in 1919 would have been either higher or roughly equal to the number of jews in the Comintern in 1933. (2)

The reason for this decline in the number of jews can be reasonably ascribed to two causes: the need to have less jewish personnel in the Comintern to counter the ‘counter-revolutionary’/‘reactionary’ argument that Bolshevism was a jewish conspiracy (which was by 1933 a major impediment to the spread of communism among the ‘working class’) and racial conflict/competition between the different racial and sub-racial groups within the Comintern (best exemplified perhaps in Stalin’s use of the NKVD to ‘purge’ the Comintern, and old radicals in general, of those he perceived to be politically or ideologically dangerous of whom a significant proportion were jews [although one of heads of the NKVD at this time, Yagoda, was a jew]). (3)

Table 3.2 (Apparatus staff according to nationality, 1933)

Nationality %

Russian 47.3
Jewish 13.4
German 9.1
Latvian 5.7
French 3.6
English 3.2
Hungarian 2.7
Polish 2.7
Other 12.3

This table is self-explanatory and very suggestive in that a significant 13.4% of Comintern staff self-identified as jewish and there were doubtless many other jews within the Comintern staff who did not identify as jews and hence ascribed their nationality as something other than jewish. It clearly indicates the overrepresentation of the jews in the Comintern apparatus in 1933 before the ‘purge’ of the Comintern began.

Table 3.7 (Members of the restructured Liaison service (S.S) in 1940)

Name D.O.B Nationality Joined CPSU Joined SS Comments

K I Blinov 1901 Russian 1932 1938 Instructor
A E Voroncov 1914 Russian Non-party 1940
A I Kogan 1908 Jewish 1930 1939

Sector I

Z G Kac 1913 Jewish 1932 1938 Instructor
I M Korsun 1912 Russian 1939 1938 Instructor
A S Blinov 1906 Russian 1932 1937 Instructor
I I Bojkov 1910 Russian 1931 1937 Instructor
S E El’bert 1908 Ukrainian 1939 1937 Secretary

Sector 2

M A Gel’fand 1909 1939 1940 Head of Sector 2

Sector 3

Ya M Zysman 1886 1917 1936 Head of Sector 3
G M Kazakov 1904 Russian 1924 1937 Instructor


M Z Basmakov 1892 Russian 1917 1938
P Ch Mezis 1887 Latvian 1920
A N Nikonenko 1895 Russian 1924 1930
G P Meskov 1898 Russian 1939 1939

Sector ‘S’

A K Nikolaev 1900 Russian 1920 1938 Head of Sector
E M Dimitrova 1902 Bulgarian 1926 1938
V I Sazonov 1911 Russian 1931 1938
M A Aronova 1911 Ukrainian 1926 1940

Sector 4

I A Baranov 1912 Russian 1939 1940 Head of Sector
I V Potemkin 1900 1938 1938
I P Vugrecov 1899 Russian Non-party 1938
T M Medvedev 1892 Russian 1918 1936
I I Kazinik 1909 Belorussian 1925 1939
N I Krjuk 1915 Ukrainian 1930 1938

Sector 5

D K Pavlov 1895 Russian 1919 1937 Head of Sector
I N Voroncov 1908 Russian 1932 1938
A A Maslov 1911 Russian 1933 1937

Sector 6

A A Samoilov 1889 Russian 1920 1927 Head of Sector
A E Guseva 1899 Russian 1920 1938
E D Muraveva 1910 Russian 1940 1938

Sector 7

M A Orlov 1910 Russian 1932 1938 Head of Sector
V A Egorov 1910 Russian 1932 1938
M M Sysoev 1909 Russian 1931 1938
A V Vorobev 1910 Russian 1938 1940
G D Petrov 1910 Russian Non-party 1940
I P Peicev 1901 Bulgarian 1920 (CPBU) 1930
V F Masanov 1898 Russian Non-party 1932
M G Kostin 1906 Russian 1931 1940
I A Rudiaga 1912 Ukrainian 1931 1936

Sector 8

K V Cechlov 1911 Russian 1939 1938 Head of Sector
F M Elizarov 1907 Russian 1931 1938
E P Nedosivina 1905 Russian 1927 1938

Sector 9

E A Bukatin 1907 Russian 1925 1932 Head of Sector
A V Zimin 1907 Russian 1937 1939 Engineer
V M Savickaia 1909 Russian 1940 1934 Engineer
E K Majorova 1906 Russian 1928 1938 Engineer

Sector 10

P K Capurin 1909 Russian 1932 1940 Head of Sector
I St Sustrow 1904 Russian 1926 1940
V S Dubinin 1915 Russian 1936 1939

Out of Moscow

Ja Podchaliusin 1913 Russian 1938 1938
L V Masukov 1910 Russian 1932 1938
K I Cirkov 1904 Russian 1925 1940
G A Frumnin 1904 Russian 1925 1940
S Choznev 1913 Kazakh 1934 1937
V V Slynev 1907 Russian 1930 1939
S A Georgiev 1902 Bulgarian 1925 1930

Table 3.7 indicates to us that after the ‘purge’ of 1934-1939 the Comintern had a lot less jews in it than in 1933. Although Tables 3.3 and 3.7 aren’t directly comparable: they do however give us an idea of how much the percentage of jews was decreased in the Comintern by the ‘purge’. (4) While, of course, there maybe unrecognised jews in table 3.7: it still remains that a clear majority of those involved in this arm of the Comintern were likely Russians and not jews. In essence we have to recognise that the connection between jews and bolshevism is not as clear as it might at first seem.


(1) Huber points out on p. 64 n. 41 that this list excludes 8 administrative personnel.
(2) To see this pattern in action then one needs only note the steady decrease in the numbers of jews in the Politburo i.e. 1917: 5 out 7 (Kamenev, Lenin, Sokolnikov, Trotsky and Zionviev); 1921: 4 out of 8 (Kamenev, Lenin, Trotsky and Zionviev); (start of) 1926: 3 out of 14 (Kamenev, Trotsky and Zionviev); (end of) 1926: 1 out of 14 (Zionviev); 1927: 1 out of 17 (Kaganovich); 1930: 1 out of 15 (Kaganovich); 1934: 1 out of 15 (Kaganovich).
(3) For a detailed account of the NKVD’s ‘purge’ of the Comintern please see William Chase, 2001, ‘Enemies within the Gates? The Comintern and the Stalinist Repression, 1934-1939’, 1st Edition, Yale University Press: New Haven.
(4) We should also note that in anti-Semitic literature on the bolshevik revolution: you often find much material being purported regarding its early years as there is much information, although a significant part of it is not correct, about the role of jews in Bolshevism at that time, but the longer we travel into the history of the USSR the less we find that anti-Semitic authors are able to say about the role of jews in bolshevism. Anti-Semitic authors, such as Frank Britton, are usually forced to scrounge for tit-bits, using the (heavily jewish) spy rings for the USSR of the 1950s, to continue the jews and bolshevism thesis into, and beyond, the 1940s. Anti-Semites in general need to purport a more realistic view of the Soviet Union in acknowledging that while it was significantly jewish during its early period: that influence waned drastically as time went on due in the main to racial conflict/competition between jews and Slavs, which the later seems to have won.